The perils of complacency – why firms should not turn a blind eye to risk
Compliance officers for legal practice (COLPs) and compliance officers for finance and administration (COFAs) have been in their roles since 1 January. So it is worth reflecting on whether the COLP/COFA regime put in place by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to 'police’ law firms is working effectively. Are law firms more compliant with SRA regulation than they were before COLPs and COFAs were appointed? Samantha Barrass, executive director of the SRA, said in a speech in December 2011: "The COLP will be responsible for taking reasonable steps to put in place systems and controls for good compliance." She added: "We will expect the COLP to be completely on top of risk and compliance."
The SRA-enforced creation of law firm compliance officers has improved awareness about the real need to manage risk, but it is not enough to simply put processes in place – firms must monitor their exposure on a daily basis, says Peter Scott
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